The NFL playoff picture 2011 is technically clearer in the NFC today. Now that the NFL playoff picture has the Eagles locked in as a three seed, it leaves three teams left for the top seed. In addition, it may have made the race for the sixth seed clearer, now that the Bears have a bit less incentive to stop the Packers. As it turned out, the Vikings did their two greatest NFC North foes a big favor, in various ways, by beating the Eagles. Assuming there are no more upsets, the NFL playoff picture seems relatively simple for the NFC now.
The Eagles always needed help to take the No. 2 seed and a bye. However, their upset loss to the Vikings locked them into the third spot, to face one of the three teams fighting for the final wild card. As such, the Bears are locked into a bye no matter what, yet they can still get more.
The NFL playoff picture 2011 now has Chicago and the NFC South champion set for the two byes. The Bears can still get the top seed, however, by beating the Packers and having the Falcons lose to the Panthers. But after what the Eagles did against an inferior team, the Falcons might be more inclined to take the Panthers seriously.
With Chicago locked in at No. 2, at the worst, Philadelphia’s position becomes rather ominous. They already lost to the Bears in Chicago, and to even get a rematch, they likely have to face either the Packers or the Giants – both of which can make Michael Vick even more hurt and ragged.
For the Packers, the NFL playoff picture 2011 has brightened, since Chicago has a bit less to play for now. By the time they kick off at 4:15, the Bears will know if they have a chance for the top seed, since the Falcons play at 1. If Atlanta wins, then Chicago can take it easy – leaving Green Bay with an open invitation to clinch the wild card. Still, Chicago could be motivated enough to knock their arch rivals out of the postseason.
By the time the Packers start, they will know if the Buccaneers can still catch them, since they play the Saints at 1. But since the Giants play the Redskins at 4:15, the Packers must still fight for their lives, and scoreboard watch at the same time.
No matter what, it seems that the NFL playoff picture 2011 looks almost set for the wild card round. The Eagles will host either the Packers, Giants or Buccaneers in one game, while the NFC South runner up will be heavily favored against the Seahawks or Rams on the road. In the meantime, the Bears and the NFC South champions will already be two wins away from a trip to Dallas.
NFL.com- “NFL Playoff Picture 2010”
SB Nation- “NFL Playoff Picture Coming Into Focus As Bears Clinch Bye, Eagles Locked Into 3’rd Seed”